April 11, 2012

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman, Contributor
I cover Hollywood and the business of celebrity
4/11/2012 @ 6:42PM |10,231 views

Madonna "MDNA" is "DOA": Total Sales Collapse as Amazon Drops Price to 5 Bucks

Madonna‘s “MDNA” album is dead. It’s really quite amazing. Amazon.comhas dropped the price of downloading “MDNA” to five dollars. On iTunes, the only version of the album on the chart is the explicit one, selling for $14.99. It’s at number 46 on their chart. On hitsdailydouble.com, “MDNA” dropped to number 8 from number 1, with an 87% fall off from the previous week.
The amazon.com situation is much worse. As a physical CD, “MDNA” is just gone. The actual CD, explicit or regular (no curse words) is somewhere below 500 in music. This is the second week of release. The clean version — for $5 — is at #733. The dirty one, so to speak, is around 500. “MDNA” is just…gone. It’s a total sales collapse. It makes you wonder, what happened? Of course, Madonna has done very little publicity. And the inflated first week sales–reported here exclusively–are over now as the “bundling” with concert tickets is finished.
But wow. The deluxe version with a special booklet, for sale at $12.99, is showing up on amazon at number 5,706. Five thousand seven hundred and six.
So what did go wrong? The audience wasn’t interested in vituperative songs with the “f” word scattered through them liberally. Instead of dancing, Madonna was cursing. And what does she have to curse about? She’s a gazillionaire. She does whatever she wants, to whomever she wants, whenever she wants. No one stops her. Her charity in Africa was a bust, and the documentary she made about it was ridiculous. She continues to espouse the “philosophy” of the Kabbalah Center. She flaunts lovers half her age. She talks with a haughty accent. Last year, one of her brothers turned up homeless in Michigan. Madonna seemed not to care.
But even more important: those songs. They weren’t uplifting, and weren’t danceable. There’s no humor. Her competitor and successor, Lady Gaga, speaks to kids with hope and faith. And a beat. The kids could relate to it.  Lady Gaga created a community. “MDNA” was like a foreign object from another planet.
What to do now: who knows? “MDNA” has turned into “DOA.”
Am I surprised? The great Madonna songs are still great. “Like a Prayer,” “Into the Groove,” “Causing a Commotion,” “Material Girl,” “Borderline”–they’re all still wonderful. Someone joked today that Madonna has to “go country” now–like Lionel Richie–and re-record all her hits with country stars. As if. But it might time for a tribute album, with younger artists performing her songs.